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Board of directors

The effective management committee of a company limited by shares. In theory the members of the board represent the interests of the shareholders and are appointed by them for that purpose. In fact they tend to be appointed initially by the company promoter and thenceforward they become a sort of self-elected oligarchy, filling its own vacancies as they arise and unlikely to be upset except as a result of a major revolt among members.

Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.